Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Pat Metheny Group - Offramp (1982)

Note: this release was originally purchased as a LP, later replaced by a CD.

I was just discovering jazz in 1982 so when I saw this album won a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance, I thought I'd check it out.  I was completely unprepared for the sonic landscapes put together by Metheny and his longtime keyboardist/writing partner, Lyle Mays.  As a result, my LP was played only a handful of times.  While there is some great improv work here, the musicians were more interested in sounds and grooves rather than melodies in the traditional sense.  At 16, I wanted something I could hum along to, and this wasn't it.  I wasn't ready for Metheny until late 1984/early 1985, but by then this album had already left my collection. 

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #50
Peak on Billboard's Jazz LPs chart: #1
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #43
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #45

Tracks:  Track 2, Are You Going With Me?, is the best track on the album and one Metheny continues to play in concert.  Also good are Au Lait, Eighteen, and James.  I usually skip the cacophonous title track.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  This album was one of 11 that I got for a penny from Columbia House in early 1983.  After some months had passed with very few listenings, I planned on taking my LP to the used record store in Houston (Record Exchange on Westheimer). On our way to the store, my friends and I stopped at Westwood Mall to catch a showing of Return Of The Jedi.  By the time we returned to the car, this album along with a few others had melted into a hot, sticky pool of black vinyl.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Steve Reich - Different Trains, Electric Counterpoint (1989)
First Circle (1984)

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